Some Economic, Social and Ecological Impacts in Connection with Bread as Food Waste in Hungary

Hubert, Klára – Szűcs, István

Keywords: food waste, household, breads, land, the starving, Q59

In our fast-moving world with roughly 792 million people starving and scarce resources, it is crucial that prevention and reduction of food waste and food wastage receive more attention. Food wastage deriving from finished products and ultimate consumers’ use poses a global and national problem that triggers a negative tendency in efficiency at national level. According to a FAO (2011) study, annual food waste is up to 1.3 billion tonnes on a global scale while it is estimated to reach 1.8 million tonnes in Hungary, including waste from production to consumption in each segment. The quantity of domestic food waste is 400 000 tonnes according to the Hungarian Food Bank Association.
Based upon data from the Hungarian Central Statistical Office, Hungarian consumers buy approximately 304 760 tonnes of bread annually of which 10% waste of the top three types of bread generates a financial loss of HUF 6.5 billion. It is tantamount to EUR 20.6 million at the average exchange rate published by the Hungarian National Bank. The white bread needs of 551 760 children, or the semi-white bread needs of 648 433 children or the home-style bread needs of 490 564 children could be satisfied by the wasted money arising from bread waste provided they required catering services at elementary and secondary schools. Energy (Kcal) need deriving from bread for nearly 685 706 people could be satisfied by the amount of Kcal from the communal waste of bread products. If 10% of the bread products bought is wasted, a total excess water use of 35.6 million m3 exerts pressure on the environment. With nearly 27 500 tonnes of annual bread waste, roughly 27 500 tonnes of greenhouse gas (CO2) are emitted into the atmosphere.